10 Ways to Be Creative This Weekend

10 Ways to Be Creative This Weekend, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Creativity
Photo by Bruno Scramgnon on Pexels.com

Is anyone else feeling stuck lately? It could be winter blahs. It could be two years of mostly staying home and not being able to go anywhere fun or interesting. Or maybe it’s just something everyone goes through once in a while. Whatever the reason, if you’re feeling meh, you can bring back a bit of the spark by injecting some creativity into your day. Give these a try…

Dance

Put on some music and, as the saying goes, dance like no one’s watching. It’ll get you energized and maybe even spark some inspiration.

10 Ways to Be Creative This Weekend, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Creativity, Umbrella Academy, Tiffany, I think we're alone now, dance gif, dancing gif

Cook

Skip the recipes and see what you can put together with what you already have on hand. If cooking’s not your thing, order in and get something you’ve never tried.

Play

Break out a creative or problem-solving game– basically anything that involves active participation instead of just following instructions. RPGs (like D&D) are perfect for this, although you generally need at least three people and a few hours to get the best experience.

Doodle

Blank paper + the writing tool of your choice. Don’t overthink it– just scribble away.

10 Ways to Be Creative This Weekend, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Creativity, Buffy, Willow, A doodle. I do doodle. You too. You do doodle too.

Photograph

Go for a walk or just wander around the house until you find something that catches your eye. Try to get as many different photos of one object as you can.

Daydream

Let your mind wander and see where it goes.

Redecorate

Rearrange the furniture in a room, or plan out your dream house. See the potential in your space.

10 Ways to Be Creative This Weekend, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Creativity, moodboard, palettes, decorating
Photo by Anna Nekrashevich on Pexels.com

Repurpose

If there’s something around the house you’ve been thinking of getting rid of, see if you can figure out how to improve it or find a new way to use it.

Compare

Pick (or have someone pick for you) two random things (e.g., a bear and a pair of socks). List everything you can think of that the two have in common (like, a bear and socks are both fuzzy).

Sing, with a Twist

Pick a song and make up new lyrics for it. You can write them down if you want, but it’s more fun to make them up as you go. The lyrics don’t have to be deep– sing about what you’re making for dinner or about your pets or how you’re feeling at that moment.

At its heart creativity is all about seeing things in a new way. Have fun and don’t overthink or self-edit. It probably won’t solve your problems, but being creative can set you free.

What do you do to stop feeling stuck? Share in the comments…

Books take you to new worlds. Download one of mine now:

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

End of an Era

End of an Era, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Livejournal, Friendster, MySpace, social media, the web.
Photo by Monoar Rahman on Pexels.com

Were any of you on LiveJournal? LJ was social media before social media, back in the pre-Zuckerberg days of Friendster and MySpace (remember those?) People would friend one another and write journal entries about anything and everything. Once posted, friends (or the public, if you wanted) could read and comment on your entries. You could also join communities to discuss specific topics with other like-minded users.

I loved LiveJournal. Your posts could be as long or short as you liked. I posted everything from random updates, to recipes, photos of my cats and garden, and memes and quizzes (so many). Posts showed up in your feed in chronological order as they were uploaded, not in the order chosen by some obscure algorithm based on post engagement and black magic (and you couldn’t pay to boost your posts, either). If there were ads, they were unobtrusive enough that I don’t remember them.

End of an Era, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Livejournal, Friendster, MySpace, social media, the web.
Photo by Prateek Katyal on Pexels.com

Unfortunately, a brand new type of social media came along and I, along with most other people, jumped on board. Twitter and Facebook were fun. There were games, there were multiple kinds of engagement (Likes! Retweets! Poking!), and they were easier. Who had time to read and write page-long entries when you could enjoy 140-character witticisms? I never thought about algorithms or information gathering or any of the potential negative consequences of these platforms that are now a depressing reality. By the time I realized that LiveJournal was better, everyone had left it. The site is still there but, from what I can tell, it’s much less active, and has also made some changes to be more like the other guys. Going back is pointless.

I spent the last few days copying and pasting my old LiveJournal entries into a Word document (because of course there was no easy way to download them), and then I deleted my account. I really should have done it years ago, but it still was a sad moment. Much as I wish it wasn’t the case, it’s the end of an era: an official conclusion to when the internet was still a tool and not a monster.

I started on LiveJournal in 2003 and was active until 2007. I tried again in 2010/2011, but it was too late by then. My entries amounted to 160,321 words, which is equivalent to two decent novels (and why I went to the trouble of saving it all).

For fun, I thought I’d also share a meme from one of my early entries. Feel free to revive it, either on your own blog or in the comments below. For the record, I have since added Douglas Coupland to my shelves 🙂

September 30th, 2003

07:35 am: Fun with authors…
Instructions: Take one list of authors, remove those whose efforts do not grace your shelves and bring the list up to ten by adding some more that do. Bold indicates newly-added authors.

Cherie Priest
Douglas Coupland
The Dalai Lama
Terry Pratchett
Neil Gaiman
JRR Tolkien
Douglas Adams
Edith Wharton
Charles De Lint
J.K. Rowling
Vladimir Nabokov
Joseph Campbell
Margaret Laurence

Current Mood:

enthused

Current Music: The Chieftains, Celtic Wedding

(It was also nice to be able to add your Current Music and Current Mood. You could customize the mood icons too: I opted for goth girl. The one for feeling sick was a gif where she alternated between her usual look and having blonde hair and bright clothes.)

What sites do you miss from back in the day? Share in the comments…

Do yourself a favour and spend some time with a book instead of social media: download one of mine now…

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

The Writer’s Tag: Take Two

Writer's Tag: Take Two, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Writer, writing, am writing
Photo by Judit Peter on Pexels.com

It’s been a while since I posted a tag, and I thought it would be fun to revisit an old one and see if anything has changed. If you’re curious about what I (or writers in general) do, this post is for you…

What Type of Writing Do You Do?

Novels are still my favourite way to express myself, although short fiction is growing on me. I also enjoy getting poetic when the mood strikes. For non fiction, I love being able to share my thoughts and passions in a blog post.

What genres/topics do you write about?

It’s funny because for the longest time I read either horror or literary/classic fiction almost exclusively, and that was what I tended to write. But in recent years I’ve been increasingly drawn to fantasy, especially anything involving magic or non-human characters. I’m not sure what that says about me as a person (maybe just that I’m a recovering English Major), but I think it’s safe to say my writing from now on will mostly be in the realm of dark/urban fantasy.

Writer's Tag: Take Two, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Writer, writing, am writing urban fantasy, dark fantasy, fantasy, magic, magical
Photo by Athena on Pexels.com

How long have you been writing?

Most of my life, although I’ve taken a few long breaks. Even before I ever wrote anything down, I would tell myself stories to help me fall asleep (something I still do), or just to pass the time.

Are you published?

Since you asked…

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

What was the first story you ever wrote?

Although it’s not the first story I wrote, it’s the first one I remember that made an impression. In grade 6, we were given an assignment to write a modern re-telling of a fairy tale. I went with Red Riding Hood. I’ve forgotten most of it now, but it had something to do with Red smuggling drugs in her basket (I believe the wolf was a cop). I didn’t think it was anything special, but my teacher did. He came to see my parents and told them to never let me stop writing. I wasn’t exactly planning my career at that age, but I’m pretty sure that was the moment when some part of me decided that I would be a writer. Thanks, Mr. Coyne!

Why do you write?

To quote my answer from the last time I did this tag: I don’t feel I have much of a choice. That’s what I love, it’s what I’m good at, and it’s what I feel I was meant to do.

Writer's Tag: Take Two, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Writer, writing, am writing. Quote: There is no greater agony than bearing an untiod story inside you by Maya Angelou

How do you find time to write?

How does anyone find the time to work, or to do anything else that matters to them?

When and where is the best time/place to write?

Morning or early afternoon, somewhere comfortable, quiet, and without distraction (she said, staring pointedly at her cats).

Favorite foods/drinks while writing?

I don’t eat while writing, and if I drink anything, it’s usually water or tea. And people say writing isn’t exciting.

Writer's Tag: Take Two, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com.
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Your writing playlist?

Silence. See above re: the excitement of being a writer. But seriously, music interferes with the rhythm of your writing, and the lyrics get into your head, and probably onto the page without you even realizing it. The people who can work with music or the TV on have some kind of super power.

What do friends/family think of you writing?

I think most of them wonder what I do all day. But the rest are encouraging/supportive, and that’s what matters.

What parts of writing do you enjoy the most?

My answer from last time hasn’t changed: I love it when the words come together and flow out of you. Best feeling in the world. (It’s also pretty satisfying when you’re stuck and finally figure out the perfect solution).

Writer's Tag: Take Two, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com.
Photo by Aleksandr Neplokhov on Pexels.com

Parts of writing you find challenging?

Writing quickly is impossible for me, and we live in a world where people expect endless new content. If anything ever makes me quit, it’ll be that.

What do you write with/on?

I used to write first drafts by hand, and I’d love to get back to that– but I’m slow enough as it is. Now everything goes straight onto my laptop, unless I get some unexpected inspiration– then I use my phone to get it down before I forget.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

Lately this isn’t as much of a problem as lack of focus. But when I do get stuck, I’ll think about it, or push it to the back of my mind, while I do other things. That usually gets results. Talking about it with my partner also helps a lot. I think the worst thing to do for writers block is to stress over it and try to force a solution.

How do you motivate yourself to write?

A combination of deadlines and anxiety can be extremely motivating! But the truth is, if you’re not into it, nothing will motivate you. The best motivation is passion.

Writer's Tag: Take Two, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com.
Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

Author(s) who inspired you to become a writer?

I don’t think there was any one specific author who inspired me to become a writer, but there were a few who inspired my love of stories, reading, and books, so thank you to Aesop, Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm, Lewis Carroll, and L. Frank Baum.

Writing goals this year?

This year is almost over, but my goal for 2022 is to publish my next novel! Watch this space…

Best advice you’ve gotten as a writer?

Keep going, don’t give up, and it’s never too late (now I just have to keep following that advice…)

Do you have any questions, comments, or thoughts on writing? Share in the comments…

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

PS: Happy World Kindness Day! Much ♥ to everyone online and off who has shown me so much kindness and support. You guys rock!

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